Monday, 8 September 2014

Mãn: a book cover

I worked with designer Peter Dyer to create this illustrated cover for "Mãn" by Kim Thúy. Published by The Clerkenwell Press, my illustration was inspired by the vibrant colours of Vietnamese vegetables and cooking ingredients.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

My Favourite Book Cover: Sian Wilson

Today the most talented and lovely book cover designer, Sian Wilson talks about her favourite book cover which is a real beauty of a 1960's Penguin Modern Classic, featuring a drawing by Duncan Grant.

"I can waste hours and hours looking for inspiration in old book covers. There seems to be so many restrictions on book cover design these days, it's great, and frustrating to see how much freedom book cover designers used to have. I've always had a massive soft spot for the art and design of The Bloomsbury Group, and this distinctive style says so much about the time in which Virginia Woolf was writing, as well as the tone of her books. But much more important than that I just think it looks absolutely gorgeous and really wish I had done it myself."

Thank you Sian, I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above.

Sian Wilson has been designing books for six years and is currently a senior designer at Little Brown Book Group. You can view some of her cover designs here.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Environmental Studies

I was recently comissioned illustrate the cover of "Environmental Studies" by Maureen Duffy. I created a decorative watercolour for this collection published by Enitharmon Press.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Menorca Map

I've created an illustrated map for invites to a wedding on the beautiful Balearic Island of Menorca. I included some key wedding locations and used warm, medierranean colours to capture the atmosphere of the island.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Artist's Bay Bag for LOQI

I recently collaborated with the smashing bag company LOQI to create these "Artist's Bay" reusable tote bags. Perfect for the beach or a trip to the market, this design was inspired by the sunny bays of Menorca in the Balearic Islands. Available to buy here.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My favourite book cover: Nico Taylor

Welcome to the next instalment of "My favourite book cover". This time I'm featuring the choice of the designer Nico Taylor who currently works at Harper Collins and is responsible for some extremely stylishly designed books being on our shelves in recent years. He has chosen a book I am very fond of "The heart is a lonely hunter" by Carson McCullers.

I always have to deal with a level of guilt and regret when thinking of this cover as one of my favourites. Having long been a fan of the book, last year I found an almost pristine copy in Portland's Powell's Book Store and foolishly decided not to take it home with me. Perhaps this personal regret will be the reason this jacket always stays with me, but I think it's more to do with the striking graphic quality it holds. For a novel that deals so subtly with the depths of humanity, it's interesting to see a cover so brash. Sadly I can't find a credit for the cover but it seems hard to believe this was created in the in the 1940's, with the dynamic script type dominating and an exaggerated drop shadow making the title seemingly jump from the cover. It could easily have been so inappropriate, but to my eyes it works marvellously. Predating the brilliant title-led jackets of the designer Paul Bacon (see original versions of Catch 22 and Portnoy's Complaint) this must have been one of the first covers to be commercially presented with the "big book" look and I think it does it fantastically.

Thank you Nico!

You can visit Nico's website here.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Summer here kids!

I recently created two illustrations inspired by holidays and food to welcome in the long summer nights.  Enjoy.

Available as a print here

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My favourite book cover: Nina Tara

I am always on the look out for new book cover inspiration, so I decided to ask some designers and bookish types to share their favourite covers. So we are kicking off with the most talented designer Nina Tara who has selected one by one of my all time favourite designers, Alvin Lustig.

It is almost impossible to choose a favourite out of all his works as he has produced so many wonderful covers. I have chose this cover, Monday Night by Kate Boyle. I love the simplicity of Alvin's designs and especially this one for it's graphic feel and subtle colour palette. I think that is the magic of his work- they are timeless and don't feel over complicated with a wonderful balance about them.

I'm Nina Tara and these are a few things I like-

I love work on projects that make me want to push myself even further than the last project.
I find something that totally inspires me and I have to share it.
Someone hires me to work a project and the next time I look it;s years later and we are now friends and still working together!
I love making a mess in the studio from working on ideas and concepts for covers.
I love pottering around in my vegetable patch, helps me clear my head.
Oh... you can come find me on

Thank you so much Nina! 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Iwami Reika

I have recently stumbled across the astounding work of contemporary Japanese printmaker Iwami Reika. Born in 1927, she is one of the first women to achieve the same status as men in printmaking in Japan. She combines woodblock, handmade papers and some embossing to create prints that whilst being harmonious celebrations of the natural landscape, still have a striking austerity and an eerie atmosphere to them. You can view more of her work and find out more about her here

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

SHOP Magazine: The Gothenburg Issue

I recently had the lovely job of creating an illustration for SHOP Magazine's Spring/Summer Gothenburg issue. My brief was to create an image that celebrated natural, scandinavian beauty. Having visited Southern Sweden a couple of times, it was a joy to depict the beautiful Swedish landscape of pine forests and fresh lakes. This image is also available as a print from my shop.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mâché me a pet

My family's patterdale Terrier, Topsy sadly left us a few weeks ago for the big park in the sky. The lovely photographer and mâché wiz, Alma Haser presented me with a little paper mâché version of her which captures her personality so perfectly and was such a lovely gift to receive during this sad time.

Alma made her first mâché pet when her brother told her he was missing their family dog, Sugar, after moving out of home, so she decided to make him a miniature Sugar for Christmas so he would be able to have her where ever he went.

Soon orders for customised mâché pets started coming in. Alma asks the buyer to send her a photo of their dog or cat and she paints the model with the same colouring and individual details in order to capture their character. She then takes a photograph of the pet against a background colour that shows them off best.

A one off commissioned pet (between 5 and 12cm is £100). Prints of each pet will be made available in editions of 100, printed on Fine Art Archival Paper at 11" x 11" for £35 and for a model and a print it's £120. Go here for more details.

And you can view more of Alma's photography here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A playlist for April

Welcome to my second monthly playlist, this one doesn't have a specific theme, just a soundtrack to my recent drawing and wandering. Enjoy.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Not only the sound of the sunflower roaring

Inspired by a line from one of my favourite poems "Not Only" by Brian Patten

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Watercolour A-Z

I have been painting something for each letter of alphabet in watercolour. This is A-C.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Osterie D'Italia

I was commissioned by Germany based publishers Halwag to create an idyllic, illustrated, Tuscan scene for the 2013/2014 edition of their Italian restaurant guide, Osterie D'Italia.

Monday, 4 February 2013

India sketchbook

I recently spent some time in India where I found a wealth of visual inspiration. These are some pages from my sketchbook while I was out there.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bapsi Sidwa

I was recently commissioned by Penguin India to illustrate the covers of Bapsi Sidwa's wonderful novels.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Harap Alb

I've developed my Harap Alb illustration, this time in colour. Here you can find the black and white version from back in September for Slovakian publishers Jandl.

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas! Take a peek at my selection of prints and cards here if you are stuck for any last minute presents.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Fieldwork Pop Up Shop

I'll be selling a selection of my work including my Christmas cards at the Field Work Pop Up Shop beginning tomorrow at 54 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London. All the info can be found below or check out the blog or Facebook event.